Born in 1957, the early life of John Hunt was nurtured towards a professional tennis career. He was Western Australia’s top-ranked under-nineteen player at age sixteen, seventeen and eighteen, winning scores of state titles and some in the eastern states, however soon after, a severe back injury ended his aspirations in the sport.
Harbouring a hobby interest in horse racing, and in particular racing commentators, that same year Hunt made the decision to train himself in this field. Six months later, he had secured his first job in radio as a back-up caller.
Over the next ten years, Hunt became proficient at broadcasting thoroughbred racing, harness racing and greyhounds, and for the last twenty years of his career, from 1989 on, he was Western Australia’s principle broadcaster of harness racing, heard nationally on all forms of electronic media. Outside of W.A., he was at various times a guest commentator in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Alice Springs and Cairns.
Hunt won national awards for his commentary and towards the end of his career received the National Meritorious Service Award from the Australian Harness Racing Council. At his farewell appearance (at Gloucester Park in Perth), he was presented with the James Brennan Award - the west’s most prestigious acknowledgement for services to the sport.
Hunt also spent eighteen of his thirty-two years in the media hosting general sports shows. He won national recognition for his programme, SPORTS SATURDAY, in 2003.
Aside from these pursuits, from his earliest days “on-air” Hunt developed a voracious appetite for writing and storytelling. To this end he wrote, narrated and produced numerous radio, television and video/DVD documentaries. His radio series, THE HISTORY OF RACING, comprised fifty-two fifteen-minute episodes and was syndicated around Australia, while his visual productions earned numerous national awards. In the case of A TRIBUTE TO WILLIE; THE VILLAGE KID STORY, Hunt received worldwide acclaim, with the film voted International Harness Racing Video of the Year at the World Trotting Conference in Paris, in 1990.
John Hunt retired from the media at the end of 2008 at age fifty-one for the specific purpose of writing books, with PRINCESS; THE MISS ANDRETTI STORY, published in 2011.
THE VIEW FROM THE CLOUDS is Hunt’s second book.Buy now
Excerpts from part one of Sky Channel retirement special on John Hunt; December 7th, 2008.
*Courtesy of Sky Racing
Part two; December 14th, 2008. *Courtesy of Sky Racing
what will lure you here, more than once. . . here . . . under the stars . . . is the intrigue, the charm, the tragedy, the triumph, and the bravery born of innocence, of this, the most unique of all animals, called the horse.” John Hunt farewell speech excerpt;
Gloucester Park, December 12th, 2008.
In thirty-two years of race broadcasting, John Hunt saw and related in his rare, lyrical style, some of the greatest stories of the track, particularly from the world of harness racing. The champions, the glory, the tragedy, the drama, the passion and the humour - and there was plenty of that. But John Hunt did more than all these things, for he was and is a storyteller, and a man who has made a specialty of peeling back the layers of horse racing and revealing the core truths beneath its skin.
The most important of these is his career-guiding belief and conviction that for all the money, colourful characters and plain skulduggery that accompanies an industry whose life blood is pumped by gambling, the driving motivation that subtly lures its thousands of fans, is the absolute innocence, nobility and aristocracy of the horse.
This was the creed that evolved Hunt into a commentator famed throughout Australia for his grasp of the zeal and spirit of horses and horse racing, and these attributes shine through in this amazing biography. A biography that explores the evolution of an industry in recalling the deeds of some of the greatest pacers that ever lived - and the people around them.
It is also the story of the unique career that evolved in the broadcast box above them.Buy now
Excerpt from SEASONS OF GLORY, Volume One; 1992/93.
Excerpt from Mount Eden tribute parade; August, 1991.
Excerpt from THE SUMMER OF FROST AND ICE; 1992.
'The View From The Clouds' is available to purchase from our official online distributor Vivid Publishing. Just click on any of the "Buy Now" links on this webpage and you will be taken to their website which will allow you to purchase the book.
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